Wandering the Eastern Sierra – Leaving the Golden Forest

The Beautiful Inyo County-LifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy

The Beautiful Inyo County

Once I discovered there were blooming displays of yellow Aspen in an area east of the Sierra range, I decided I would make this trip and keep coming back.  This is one of those come-back trips and it is fascinating to discover that there is always a new adventure and pleasure to be found here.  It is a a dusty desert trip to get here but once you enter the Inyo Country line the landscapes changes many times over.

The Aspen designs against Convict Lake reflect a  mosaic that expresses a natural pallet of earth and lake.  Everywhere I look the leaves dab colorful designs about the landscape like a nature footprint on canvas.

Aspen Mosaic-LiifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy

Aspen Mosaic

To my surprise, the excitement of color splashes the countryside with graceful nuance. It was more than breathtaking.

Aspen Grove-LifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy

Aspen Grove

The  June Loop  flourishes with lakes, Aspen groves, streams and  fisherman.  We pitch our tent at the lush June Lake campground, smack dab in the midst of  yellow swirling leaves and a warm summer-like wind breezing through.  We break for dinner and try for a sunset shot –which goes no where fast.  Some young girl just happens along the way, looks down and gets a great stroke-of-luck shot of a duck swirling in sunset red reflections!

The hills, as they say, are alive —with brilliant yellow!

Hill of trees-LifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy

Hill of Trees

Later in the evening, walking along the lake in the deep dark of night, admiring the stars above, we find the Big Dipper and Orion’s belt.  I look down to see a star-studded sky reflecting in the water, the big dipper all aglow.  I don’t think I have ever seen the midnight sky shine so gracefully in the depths of a midnight lake. The world is upside down right here at my feet.  Then, after a day of photographing miles of golden beauties, I am left with visions of golden leaves dancing in my head.

Spinning Leaves-LifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy

Spinning Leaves

Gull Lake was our sunrise shot. Another Aspen campground with a lakeside view.  This will be my next camping spot, believe me!  The sun rises while the ducks swim, fishermen fish and the ghostly fog creeps in around the lake like an apparition, skimming atop the water ever so slightly as it hugs the  trees and rocks. It is a very busy place for 7 in the morning!

Gull Lake-LifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy

Gull Lake, CA

Some Aspen  look like old timers among the frail arching  trunks of the younger generation. As they get older they look as though they see with their deep dark eyes. They seem to look straight at me. Maybe this is why  they seem to  invite a carving or two with shallow cuts in the white peeling trunks where loved ones are remembered in this special place. These trees seem to hold up to this quite well, though as a naturalist, one might think it is not the most gentle way to treat them.

Apsen-LifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy


We wind the day down by finishing the last leg around June Loop and my friend, Charlie, takes time lapse shots — clicking every few minutes as the sun peeks through and the deep morning shadows disappear until the sun rises in full bloom.  Moment by moment the Aspen tops glow brighter as the backdrop of a  green forest appears as if for the first time.

We break down the tent and head south on Highway 395. Near Bishop we find this lone darling yellow tree. You can’t miss it in Fall, right?

Yellow tree near Bishop-LifeForcePhotos.com-LA Photographer Christine Murphy


Another thing you can’t miss in California are the unusual moments you will always come upon no matter where you are. While driving past Bishop, a mini wagon train appears in the midst of the traffic of modern city people heading home.  We are both delighted to see this small wagon train ahead with horses decorated in full harness gear with a driver and passenger smiling from ear to ear.

Horses on 395

Horses on 395

Thank you for joining me on my latest wandering.  I also hope you’re following us on Facebook and please check out my photo store web site at www.lifeforcephotos.com.

Follow my blog if you want to know more about wandering through California.

Christine Murphy

Christine Murphy

You might want to check out our photo-poetry book if you’re looking for a nice little holiday gift: “While Wandering: A Photo-Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes“.

While wandering-A Photo-Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes

While wandering-A Photo-Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes

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